Dinesh Raut is a director and lyricist of the Nepali film industry. He is known for his creative style in filmmaking and widely praised for his versatility as a songwriter. Raut belongs to the club of young filmmakers who are changing the cinema landscape in Nepal by abandoning the outdated approach of yesterday and introducing newer methods ...See Full
Dinesh Raut is a director and lyricist of the Nepali film industry. He is known for his creative style in filmmaking and widely praised for his versatility as a songwriter. Raut belongs to the club of young filmmakers who are changing the cinema landscape in Nepal by abandoning the outdated approach of yesterday and introducing newer methods and techniques of making films. He started his directorial journey with ‘I Am Sorry’ in 2012 and has directed Four movies till date. All of his films are different and have casted light on various facets of life. Initially making love dramas most often, his recent movie ‘Parva’ was a psychological thriller and is planning to make a period drama in ‘Bhairavi’. Apart from making movies, Raut has also found fame as a songwriter. His songwriting career, which started with self-directed “November Rain”, is now going leaps and bounds, with huge hits like ‘Kale Dai’ to his credit.
Early Life and School
Dinesh Raut was born on 17th of March 1982 to parents Ram Kaji Raut and Dhan Kumari Raut in the then Dahachowk VDC, Kathmandu (Now Chandragiri Municipality). He was the youngest among the four siblings of the family. His father worked at Nepal Bank and his mother was a housewife. Being the smallest kid in the house he enjoyed more freedom compared to elder brothers Raju and Dipak and sister Tara. He was mischievous as a child, often bunking class in school to play outside with his friends. While studying at Mangoldaya Higher Secondary School in Thankot, he used to climb out of the school through the toilet roof and go to the nearby Tribhuvan Park, a popular shooting destination. It was there that he was attracted by the dazzle and light of cinema. Since then, he harbored a dream of making big on the silver screen.
While he was studying in class Seven he enrolled himself in a dance class. Sobhit Basnet, Director, used to run dance and acting classes in the VDC building in Thankot. He used to train young people there and organize programs in the ‘Rastriya Nach Ghar’ with select students. Because the acting classes were not operational when Raut went to meet Basnet, Raut joined the dance team without hesitation. He was a fast learner and soon became a regular in the team that Basnet took to the ‘Rastriya Nach Ghar’. He also got an opportunity to work as an assistant to Sobhit Basnet for the TV serial ‘Diary’ while studying in class 8. He had a very good handwriting and Basnet invited him for making fair copies of the script. It was his first taste into filmography. Raut was in fact very bad at handwriting till class seven. Seeing his bench partner Kamal Thapa Magar write beautifully, he worked hard to improve his writing skills. This hard work paid off in unthought of ways and Raut worked with Basnet in many other TV serials for NGOs.
He changed school during this time and gave his School Leaving Certificate examinations from Chandragiri Higher Secondary School, Thankot in 2055 B.S. He joined Jana Maitri College, Ravi Bhawan, for his college studies.
Years of Struggle
His journey to filmography stopped for a few years after SLC. He studies Arts in his +2 level and joined the Bachelors in Arts at the same college after completing Grade 12. While doing his Bachelors studies he once again started doing stage shows as a dancer. He then started working as a dancer in films. It was there that he started taking serious interest in the process of filmmaking. He used to watch how the Directors used to operate the whole process. He was never hesitant in doing any kind of work as his main focus was getting near the action and watch how films were made. He started working as an assistant with meagre pays for various directors, accepting it for the experience it will give to him. It was through this painstaking process of visiting every possible shooting site, working even without pay, watching the proceedings and learning through his senses that Raut gained knowledge of filmmaking. He even sacrificed his studies for his childhood dream.
His perseverance paid off and he got a chance to work as a chief assistant director to Sobhit Basnet for the movie ‘Barood’ in 2007. The film featured popular actors Nikhil Upreti, Ramit Dhungana and Jharana Thapa among others and was well received for its action sequences. There was a three years gap after this movie for Raut. His next venture was the hugely successful 2010 love drama ‘Mero Euta Sathi Chha’, where he was the chief assistant director. The film, directed by Sudarshan Thapa, established a culture of making movies catering to the taste of urban viewers as well. Raut was instrumental in the making of the movie and it established him as one of the upcoming creative talents of the industry.
Having made a long and hard journey to the top of the film industry, Raut, however, was not in a mood to jump at any new offers with his eyes closed. He saw moviemaking quite differently. He wanted a movie to contain an underlying narrative and in his view the whole process of movie making must be geared towards the fulfillment of that narrative. Making movies for the sake of only awing the audiences was not his cup of tea. That is why his directorial venture ‘I am Sorry’ came only two years after the success of ‘Mero Euta Sathi Chha’, despite him receiving many offers to direct movies in between. He shunned each offer away for not being to his taste or for nor providing the creative freedom a director craves.
Directorial Debut and Success
Finally, he was united with his childhood friend Hari Mahat, who was his school mate and also a fellow apprentice of Sobhit Basnet’s dance and acting institute. Mahat too had pursued filmmaking and was looking to make a new movie. Both of them instantly found each other to be in the same filmmaking wavelength and Raut agreed to direct Mahat’s new project. Thus ‘I Am Sorry’ was made in 2012. The romantic love drama featuring Aryan Sigdel, Keki Adhikari, Neeta Dhungana etc. was received well by the audience. Just like Mahat, lead actor Aryan Sigdel was also a childhood friend of Raut. They studied in same school where Sigdel was two years his senior. Sigdel was not much into movies while at school but had joined Pariwartan Nepal, Mohan Niraula’s acting academy in Putalisadak after his SLC examinations. By the time ‘I Am Sorry’ was being made, he was already a big star. He agreed to do the movie with Raut out of friendship. Sigdel was hugely impressed by Raut’s directorial skill from this movie and would go on to star in a number of his movies later on. Raut had casted Keki in the movie after being impressed with her in the editing footage of movie ‘Swor’.
Raut was buoyed by the success of his debut film but was in no mood to relinquish his stand of making films that only suited his taste and vision. He waited two full years before agreeing to do another film. He met Subash Giri who had just made ‘Ho Yahi Maya Ho’. The two were impressed by each other readily and agreed to do a film together. The duo made ‘November Rain’ in 2014 with Aryan Sigdel, Namrata Shrestha and Chulthim Gurung. The film was very successful and the music of the film fared well too. Raut also started his songwriting career with this movie as he wrote all songs for the film. He has written a lot of songs after that with many of them gaining wide appreciation for their versatility. His song ‘Kale Dai’ from the movie ‘Parva’ was a viral hit and is one of the biggest hits of recent times.
The success of ‘November Rain’ started a series of collaboration between Raut and Giri. They made many movies together. Raut has a special liking for Giri because he thinks the latter understands the creative space and freedom a director needs. Raut directed ‘Classic’ in 2016 with his favorite onscreen couple Aryan Sigdel and Namrata Shrestha. The movies highlighted a love/struggle story of a blind couple. The film was critically appreciated for its different plot line and unique flow.
It was around this time Raut reflected back at his career and saw that his films were mainly focused on the central theme of love despite each of them being a different cinematic experience. He wanted to break this streak and attempted to make a film that revolved around a completely different plot line. This zeal of experimentation resulted in the psychological thriller ‘Parva’ – featuring Namrata Shrestha and Koshish Chettri.
Raut has bagged many accolades and awards in his relatively short spell in the industry. The major honors he has received includes Best Director (for November Rain) - CG DCine Award (2015), Best Director (for November Rain) - Box Office Movies Award (2015), Best Director (for Classic) – Nepal Film Development Corporation Award (2016), and Best Director Jury Choice (for Classic) – International Nepalese Artists Society Award (2016).
He first met wife Rasmi Timilsina Raut at a program where she was the host. He quickly fell into the charms of the school teacher and married her after an affair of eight years in 2010 AD. Rasmi has been very supportive of her husbands work since the very beginning.
To the Future
At the time of this writing Raut is working on his two upcoming projects – ‘Bhairavi’ and a yet to be titled film. ‘Bharavi’ is a period fiction that will be one of the costliest films ever made in Nepal. Raut is planning to shoot most the movie in Benaras to provide the rich cinematic experience the story demands.
Looking back at his struggle and days of hardships Raut has no qualms about choosing the film industry over other fields. While his parents never forced him for anything in life, his older brother, who was an architect, wanted him to follow on his footsteps. He however chose the struggle that he knew was definitely in store. He worked most of his early career with little or no pay. In fact, it was with ‘Mero Euta Sathi Chha’ that he got his first cash payment. Having supportive parents and an understanding wife have also helped Raut a lot.
Raut’s passion to learn, a supportive family and his never say die attitude have ensured that he is one of the most sought-after director in the industry at a young age. His vision for the future is to make Nepali movies which are worthy of the international stage. He does not see chance of Nepali movies making big internationally with commercial plot lines and mainstream genres. He opines it will be impossible for us to get a foothold in these genres as there are already far superior films being made in mainstream cinema elsewhere in the world. He thinks, we can however explore our own lifestyle, culture, places and come up with many a story of this land that the world will probably want to hear and see. These niche genre and stories will be something the world audience might entertain as it will provide them with something unique to what they are already seeing. Raut plans to make movies based on these types of stories. Having made mostly commercial cinemas to date he holds a deep desire to migrate to films that carry message while representing true life situations. He wants to explore the full range of cultural and natural diversity of Nepal and cast a light on various facets of life. Raut thinks if he can take these exotic stories to the world then he will have truly succeeded as a filmmaker.
|I Am Sorry
|Mero Love Story
|Romeo and Muna
|Mero Euta Saathi Cha